Country captain chicken: the right way

June 02, 1991

One direction, addition of the whole almonds when the dish is reheated, was omitted from last week's recipe for country captain chicken. Here is the recipe in full:

Country captain chicken

Serves eight to 10.

This main course, a gorgeous, antebellum Georgia specialty from way back, is what Scarlett and Rhett thrived on -- and maybe even Ashley Wilkes, when he got his dander up. You can make it up to the very last stage and store it overnight, then reheat when you add the garnishes. Use large, deep ceramic or glass crocks, or enamel-lined Dutch ovens in the last stage and through the heating-up stage. What makes the dish unique is the almonds. The traditional escort for country captain is boiled, long-grain white rice, but any rice mixture (like white and wild) or even a box or two of Rice-A-Roni will serve. Frankly, my dear, you'll love it.

1 1/2 cups golden raisins

12 strips thin bacon, microwaved 2 to 3 minutes and drained crisp

2 frying chickens, cut up, or 8 to 10 chicken breasts, skinned.

4 stalks celery, strings removed.

3 medium onions

2 bell peppers

3 cloves garlic

4 cups canned or fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored and chopped

2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups whole, skinned almonds

1/4 cup brandy or cognac

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley

MA Skin chicken pieces and/or breasts, if desired, and cut into

serving-size pieces. Brown in oil, margarine or fat, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of bacon grease if desired. Set aside and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mince celery stalks, onions and bell peppers and chop garlic finely. Add along with tomatoes to oiled skillet over a low heat and sprinkle with curry powder, peppers and thyme. Simmer on low for 10 or 12 minutes. Place chicken pieces in a large bakingdish, non-metallic pot or crock and pour over it the simmered mixture. Bake in a moderate (325 degrees) oven for about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool and refrigerate with a top on overnight if desired. Pour brandy and water over raisins and marinate overnight. Still in original container, let dish come to room temperature, then add brandy, water, raisins, parsley, crumbled bacon strips and almonds. Reheat for 20 to 25 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

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